One of the themes of my blog is about connection. The title of this post is “ever thought about life coaching?”. The reason for it is that I have, for some years now, been using and helping other people through coaching.
I first saw a life coach about 4 years ago, somebody called Amanda Rogers. I saw Amanda for (I think) 6 sessions because at the time, I had been through some difficult personal and health related issues. But moreover, I had a yearning inside me to progress in life, be the best I could be and understand more about the way I think and get through life. I shared some very personal information with Amanda and I had to her some things I had done which I wasn’t proud of but reflecting back on them, they were very human things to do.
The purpose of a ‘coach’, if you’re not familiar with the concept, is to connect with you and provide a ‘sounding board’ to help you resolve problems and issues for yourself. There are different styles of coaching but generally speaking, results are achieved by asking you the right sorts of questions and getting you to think through options for resolving some of life’s tricky issues. What coaches generally won’t do (and as a coach myself, it’s a style I prefer NOT to use) is TELL or ADVISE people what they should do. As soon as you do this, the person being coached (the coachee), has less motivation or ownership in resolving whatever it is they are being coached on.
I think that one of the most humbling and gracious things we can ever do for another human being is to completely give ourselves over to another in order to fully listen and engage with whatever it is that’s troubling them. It’s one thing to listen by just being there and I’m sure we’ve all been there when a friend in need has called on us and asked for ‘a shoulder to cry on’ or to sound off about a niggling issue. But (and here’s the difference), to do so in a way whereby you can gently and purposefully talk them through their problem towards a solution (which they will determine for themselves) by asking great questions is one of the most amazing gifts another human being can give another. Those of you who’ve ever been coached professionally will know exactly what I mean.
Does it work with loved ones? Mmm – that’s a tricky one. In my experience, one needs to be a bit careful trying to ‘coach’ somebody close to you. On a day to day basis, that “how was your day dear” conversation at the end of a hard day is sometimes a game that needs careful playing. I naturally want to coach my partner if they tell me that their boss has been moody today or said something to upset them. But there are skills I have learned through coaching and also Dr. Covey’s work mentioned here in earlier posts that can help, for example, truly empathic listening i.e. seeking to understand BEFORE being understood.
Coaching has helped me on many occasions and I get the greatest buzz from coaching others. It’s a fabulous way to connect and services many of the innate needs and desires in us as human beings. If you haven’t thought about it and are curious to learn more and what it can do for you, I would thoroughly encourage you to take a look. Oh and if you live in north London/Hertfordshire and are interested in connecting with Amanda Rogers, then she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t recommend her enough.
I’m also keen to hear back from you, especially your ‘coaching’ stories. Have you been coached? What was it like? What benefits did you derive from the process and would you recommend it to others? Can you recommend any great coaches? Please feel free to leave a comment.
Happy days people.